7.1/10
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63 user 51 critic

Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 25 December 1964 (Finland)
A jealous piano teacher Orville Spooner sends his beautiful wife, Zelda, away for the night while he tries to sell a song to a famous nightclub singer Dino, who is stranded in town.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Barney
Barbara Pepper ...
Skip Ward ...
Milkman (as James Ward)
Doro Merande ...
Mrs. Pettibone
Bobo Lewis ...
Waitress
Tom Nolan ...
Johnnie Mulligan (as Tommy Nolan)
...
Mrs. Mulligan
...
Rev. Carruthers
Arlen Stuart ...
Rosalie Schultz
...
Cliff Norton ...
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Storyline

Dino, the charming and lecherous Las Vegas singer, stops for gas on his way to Hollywood in Climax, Nevada. The oily gas station attendant is Barney Millsap, a would-be lyricist who writes pop songs with Orville Spooner, the local piano teacher. By disabling Dino's car, Barney contrives a scheme to have Dino sing one of their songs on an upcoming TV special. To entertain Dino, Barney contacts the village tart, Polly, employing her to pretend to be Orville's wife, Zelda, for a night. She doesn't like Dino, but does love being Orville's surrogate wife. Dino goes to a bar, where he meets the real Zelda, and they spend the night together while Polly spends it with Orville. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There Was This Girl in Climax, Nevada

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1964 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Bésame, tonto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bentwood bed in Orville and Zelda's bedroom, is the same bed that was in C. C. Baxter's apartment in the 1960 Billy Wilder film, "The Apartment". See more »

Goofs

After Orville's wife digs under his sweatshirt for a pen while Johnny is playing the piano, the sound of the piano distorts as if the sound tape slowed down for a second. See more »

Quotes

Polly the Pistol: Get out of here, I've got a job to do.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spin City: Kiss Me, Stupid (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (Für Elise)
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Tom Nolan
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User Reviews

 
The souring of the American Dream
18 July 2005 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

This is a low and deeply cynical comedy even by Billy Wilder's standards. It's about the American Dream and says a man would sell his wife to achieve it. Ray Walston, (brilliantly cast; nobody played sharper or more venal in comedy than he did - remember, he once even played the devil?), is the small-town songwriter who tries to sell some of his songs to a visiting superstar called Dino, (Dean Martin, parodying himself as a womanizing, hard-drinking piece of scum). The way he does it is to pass his wife off as a piece of bait for Martin to sleep with and hopefully take his songs. But being the all-American hypocrite that he is, he can't bring himself to use his real wife so he packs her off to a motel and hires the local floozie Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak) to take her place.

The film is very funny in the way it undermines our conventional sense of morality. It's like a French Farce full of dirty American gags and in some ways is one of Wilder's best (though under-valued) films. The only 'nice' character in the whole picture is Polly and Novak brings to the part the same kind of touching naiveté we associate with Monroe. (It's a very Monroe-like performance). And this is probably the best acting Novak has done outside of "Vertigo" and possibly "Picnic"; (her Polly is like an older, more sullied version of the character she played in "Picnic"). A lot of Americans found this film deeply offensive, (it was a bigger success in Europe), and it was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency.


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